As you probably know, it’s getting increasingly hot in the UK this year, which means that ski season is nearly over. Biking will become more appealing, and there’s only so many opportunities to be out in the snow. This is heart-breaking for ski fans, like myself, who are now faced with the prospect of not being able to ski in July. Thankfully, there are still a few options left, and here’s a guide to where you can still ski in July.
With a little bit of planning and research, you’ll be able to find your perfect ski destination for the last month of the year. Luckily for you, I’ve already done the hard work, and I’ve narrowed down the best UK destinations based on multiple factors. Let’s take a look.
Snow Sports Destination UK Ranking
Based on the combined ranking of the following three factors:
- Quality of the snow
- Snowmaking quality
- Ski-in/ski-out location
You can see how all of this comes together in the table below. The resulting score reflects the overall quality and appeal of the UK’s ski destinations.
Best UK Ski Destinations
Based on the table above, here are the UK’s best ski destinations, in no particular order.
Located in North Wales, the Snowdonia region is steeped in history, and boasts a magnificent backdrop of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, and the great Welsh flag bearing a golden dragon. As you’d expect from a destination steeped in history, there are lots of magnificent castles and palaces to see, as well as a picturesque village. If you visit in the afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to take a dip in the lake, which is great for fishing. One of the biggest draws to Snowdonia is the amazing skiing! You won’t get the best part of the mountain, but you will certainly enjoy the adventure. At the top of Snowdon, there are two magnificent ski resorts:
- Snowdon itself
- Coed y Cwtch
The Snowdonia mountain range is the largest in the UK, and the largest in Europe, spanning the countries of Wales and England. A great destination for a family vacation, or a romantic getaway, Snowdonia offers everything you could want from a countryside retreat coupled with a scenic mountain adventure.
Another great option for a romantic getaway is the Northumbria Coast, which is made up of three smaller resorts: Whitby, Lindisfarne, and Blyth. Whitby, in particular, is the place to be, with its own private beach. Just a short drive away is the city of York, which is rich in culture and history. If you visit in the evening, you’ll have the opportunity to take a romantic stroll along the beach, and perhaps even spend the night in one of the guesthouses.
Other smaller resorts within the region include Thanda, Cliffs, and Robin Hood’s Bay. If you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, you can even pay homage to Middle Earth by taking a trip to the nearby market town of Keswick. Here you can get souvenirs and jewellery made in the style of the movies’ famous rings.
In terms of accommodation, Whitby’s famous Bay Bar Hotel is the region’s best hotel, and one of the most luxurious in the UK. It enjoys a unique position in the centre of town, with a private beach just a few steps away. The location is spectacular, and the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring.
Northumberland is another region rich in natural beauty and history. Its capital, Newcastle, is located on the River Tyne, which you can either walk or cycle along. Nearby, you’ll find the city’s medieval walls, which you can climb and explore. One of the biggest draws to Newcastle is the Jesmond Bay, a private sandy beach within the city’s boundaries. It’s great for a romantic stroll, and a peaceful spot to spend a sunset.
The Lake District, located in the southern part of England, has some magnificent cities and castles, as well as a beautiful countryside. The largest city is Lake District’s capital, which is called Morecambe. It enjoys a special place in England as the home of footballing greats such as George Gently and Nobby Stiles. If you visit in the summer, you’ll have the opportunity to see the area’s many festivals, including the famous Morecambe Jazz Festival.
Skiing is available in the Lake District at two smaller resorts: Rowentree and Derwentwater. The former is located in the south, while the latter is in the north of the region. Near Blyth in the north, you’ll find Great Gable, one of the UK’s most picturesque ski resorts, made famous for its iconic hotel, the Old Bakehouse. In the south, Lakedale offers a quieter alternative.
Another great option for a family vacation is Painswick, located in the northern part of the Gloucestershire countryside. The destination boasts a six-star hotel, as well as a number of B&Bs and guesthouses. Its attractions include award-winning shops, traditional English fare, and its famous Morris men. What’s more is that there are more than 50 km of trails to explore, including the option of carrying your ski equipment for the other resorts. Visiting in the summer is great, as you’ll have the opportunity to take a dip in the outdoor pool. Alternatively, there’s the indoor pool, or for the more adventurous, a lake to dive into!
Gloucestershire’s biggest attraction is undoubtedly its castle. You can’t go wrong with a visit to this beautiful building, perched above the River Avon. The town of Gloucester itself is worth a visit, with its 12th-century cathedral, Tudor palace, and other historical buildings. Between them, they house exhibitions and art galleries, as well as eateries and tearooms. In summer, there are boat trips along the river, which are a great way to soak in the scenery. While the main part of the castle may not be open to the public, you can get a peek behind the scenes via the Lady Arabella’s Residence, which is open to the public. Tours are available, so you’ll get to see the inner workings of a castle.
Made up of an award-winning music scene, excellent art galleries, and buzzing street life, Brighton is rapidly becoming one of England’s most loved holiday destinations. Its most famous landmark is the iconic Palace Pier, with its ornate Victorian architecture and music venues. There are also lots of bars and eateries along the seafront, as well as on London Road and Marine Parade. If you visit in the summer, you’ll have the opportunity to take a dip in the outdoor pool at least once. What’s more is that there’s often entertainment on view, from live music to comedy and magic acts!
Biking is incredibly popular in Brighton, with more and more people taking to the roads on two wheels. There are lots of trails to explore, ranging from gentle urban rides to extreme off-road adventures. The most scenic route is the Coastal Path, where you’ll have the opportunity to take a romantic stroll, or a family hike, accompanied by birdsong and dramatic skies. In the winter, there are lots of snow-covered lanes to explore, with hidden frozen ponds to jump into, if you’re feeling feisty!
If you head up to the downs above the city, you’ll find the largest skiing run in England: The London Loop. Here you’ll find the legendary Crystal Palace, built in 1872, which originally housed a skating rink. Today it’s a Mecca for dog sledging, and a chance to get very, very cold! There are also lots of snow-covered hills around the city, perfect for snowboarding and freeride skiing.